Once upon a time...
Don't you love this moment when you find a cosy place with your child, grab a book and start reading? I do! You fall in the story, try to do your best with tones and voices and get literally into the plot.
Today I bring you an editorial article from The Children's Book Review written by Lizzie Mussoline, M. Ed. (Follow her at @wildflower_learning_denver on Instagram for more literacy tips & tricks)
5 Tips for Reading Aloud to Kids
Tips and Tricks to Keep Young Kiddos Engaged and to Help With Comprehension
Reading aloud to my children and students is one of my all-time favourite things to do. It has so many benefits, such as bonding, helping to make different kinds of connections, and enhancing listening comprehension and vocabulary, just to name a few! I am lucky to have a background in education, which has given me some tips and tricks to keep young kiddos engaged and to help them comprehend the text as well. Here are a few of my favourite tips to help boost your reading aloud time!
The Power of Choice
Let your kiddo choose the book you will be reading aloud or choose from a few books you have pre-selected. I have to admit that this is hard for me to do! I love so many books and want to share them all with my kids, but we compromise. We take turns choosing a chapter book to read aloud each night before bed. Once we are done with the book, we’ll see if there is a movie version to compare and contrast with, and then we start the next book. Right now, we are on a major Roald Dahl kick. We have read Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. James and the Giant Peach is next, and we are all very pumped about it!
Help Build Background
Building context and background knowledge are essential to help your child be invested in the book they’re about to read as well as helping them to comprehend the text (thus helping them enjoy the book, too). You can do this in many different ways. Here are a few suggestions:
· If there is a movie version of the book, watch the trailer.
· Discuss the setting—specifically, the time, place, and situation. This discussion is especially important for historical fiction books and books that occur during a completely different era that might be confusing for kids.
· Search online for photographs of the setting or any other relevant content to help support comprehension and visualization of the events in the book.
Read With a Ton of Emotion
When reading aloud, EXAGGERATE! It makes reading more exciting, fun, and engaging, and it also models what fluent readers sound like—reading smoothly and with emotion. Fluency is very important because it also aids in reading comprehension. Extend or practice this by having your child reread a favorite scene or page from one of their independent reading books and encourage them to exaggerate. They won’t even know they are working on their fluency.
Take Breaks to Share
Whether there is a word that needs to be defined or just an exciting scene that warrants a little chat, make sure to occasionally pause to let your kids share their thoughts, questions, predictions, or connections. Doing so will help boost their comprehension, build more joy around reading, encourage analytical thinking, and help to spark powerful conversations.
Press Play on your “Mind Movie”
Encourage your child to visualize as they read. Older readers automatically know to try and visualize, but younger readers may need more explicit instructions. They can learn how to visualize as they listen to a book being read aloud by listening to strong modelling. For instance, after a descriptive scene, stop and “think aloud” by sharing what you see in your “mind movie.” I like to teach my younger kiddos that visualizing is imagining your very own “mind movie” with help from the author’s colourful and descriptive language. The fantastic thing about mind movies is that everyone’s is unique. This is a great topic to stop and occasionally discuss, too.
I hope these tips are helpful to you and help to continue to instil a love of reading in your home. What book are you reading aloud to your family? Please make sure to let me know!
Read, Imagine, Create and Play!
All the best,
Maria Vergara - Wolols' Mom